HMRC probes claims LVCR still going on

HM REVENUE and Customs is taking legal advice in response to claims that Channel Island retailers are shipping to the UK via third countries in order to benefit from low value consignment relief, it has confirmed.

Richard Allen, the founder of pressure group Retailers Against VAT Avoidance Schemes. (Picture by Nick Mann, 1233231)
Richard Allen, the founder of pressure group Retailers Against VAT Avoidance Schemes. (Picture by Nick Mann, 1233231)

HM REVENUE and Customs is taking legal advice in response to claims that Channel Island retailers are shipping to the UK via third countries in order to benefit from low value consignment relief, it has confirmed.

The move followed a complaint from Richard Allen, the founder of pressure group Retailers Against VAT Avoidance Schemes, who claims to have evidence of a number of companies shipping through Belgium.

‘While this is currently legit in Belgium, the law in Belgium is not compliant with EU law,’ he said.

‘Instead of constantly trying to avoid tax in EU member states, why doesn’t the Guernsey government do what most governments do when they want to support a sector, and that is subsidise it through tax revenue?

‘The idea that other countries should allow CI business a tax break because they can’t survive without undercutting everyone is a joke.’

Comments for: "HMRC probes claims LVCR still going on"

I. Le Page

Seems this man is only interested in putting CI business,s out of business.Everybody said that the goods would just be sent by other routes!

TED

Well Mr Allen as founder of the pressure group Retailers Against VAT Avoidance Schemes maybe you should turn your attention to all the goods coming into the UK from Hong Kong, oh but of course that would mean a confrontation with China and it's easier to bully the little Channel Islands than the might that is China

Alex Cross

Subsidies to retail? What planet is this guy on?

Mr Bee

This man should be very ashamed or hung and drawn trying to force local companies out of business, there are 100s of companies across the EU who ship from Belgium to the UK, which as I understand it is completely above board.

What planet is he on?

Jones

This is the same chap that has systimatically killed of the last of the DVD online business by making his fellow UK residents pay 20% more .. As it was them that was saving the VAT not us here in Guernsey. LVCR loss not only killed many a Channel Islands business but also the export revenue for Guernsey Post, Condor Ferries and the host of other shippers.

It would not surprise me that to latter learn that loosing LVCR was a heav nail in the HMV coffin.

Dave Jones

I believe you are right, he did not want people in the UK having the opportunity to buy something online cheaper.

Of course the irony is that the UK has lost over 4,000 Jobs as a result of HMV going.

So it has hurt them much more than it hurt us. They still have billions of debt to clear, we have none , so good luck Mr Allen your campaign has backfired on all those now looking for new jobs.

We will move on to find other ways of making our living and having a low tax base will always encourage people to do bussiness in Guernsey.

Phil

Here you go again Dave, doing your best to spin the facts and mislead the public. 4,000 jobs lost in the UK is proportionate to 4 jobs being lost over here. That's right, 4, you read it correctly. So remind me again how many jobs have been lost over here as a result of the LVCR debacle being ended? More or less than 4?

Your persistent boasting about how well we're doing will come back and bite you on the behind, we are in for a very rocky ride over the next 5 to 10 years, and silly comments from you and Kevin Stewart do not help matters. Where is our future revenue coming from exactly? And please don't go on about foundations and image rights legislation, their impact will be minimal and create a handful of jobs at best.

Dave Jones

Phil

The facts are that reports of HMV closing in the UK have resulted in the loss of 4,000 jobs as their stores and distribution network close.

Fact number 2 is that the UK are billions of pounds in debt.

Perhaps you can point out which one of those facts is misleading the public.

Fact no 3, Is that this island has done remarkably well througout this global meltdown and although we have seen some contraction in bussiness and jobs, we continue to attract bussiness and are working hard at seeing what we can do to diversify the economy.

All the doom and gloom merchants will be proved wrong and I am more than convinced that Guernsey will come through this difficult period and continue to prosper.

That is my opinion and you are entitled to take a different view.

Phil

Dave

"So it has hurt them much more than it hurt us", how about that as misleading? Perhaps you could confirm how many jobs have been lost in Guernsey as a result of the LVCR debacle (a rough figure will do). Then we can multiply that by 1,000 and see if that many jobs have been lost in the UK, do you fancy a bet on who's come off worse (shall we say £100 to charity?).

I don't know where you've been recently but have you not seen the job losses reported in the media (there are also lots of redundancies that have gone unreported, strange that). Guernsey always lags behind the UK in terms of economic impact, and this is what is happening now. Here's another bet for you (another £100 for charity?). I'll wager that by the end of 2014 there will be 1,000 unemployed in Guernsey, do you fancy taking that on?

Perhaps you could expand on how the "doom and gloom merchants" will be proved wrong, rather than coming out with that type of statement without anything concrete behind it to back it up?

Hoomv

Dave, 4000 jobs?? HMV are not gone and have not let 4000 people go, there will be job losses but not on that scale, FACTS please....the Guernsey store will NOT be closing...FACT

Dave Jones

Hoomv

I can only go by the reports coming out of the UK, also I have not said HMV Guernsey has closed.

I am referring to the jobs in Guernsey lost because of the loss of LVCR which included HMV.

The Truth

"The last of the DVD business" Get your facts right.The idea physical media is dead is a myth peddled by the BBC and the ignorant. These are the stats for 2011 from the industry trade body ERA.

http://www.eraltd.org/info-stats/overview.aspx

80% of albums sold on a physical format and more than 50% of these sold online. The issue was always about non UK business selling to UK customers and avoiding VAT and wiping out UK online retail. Why would everyone be so desperate to keep selling CDs offshore VAT free if it was a dead market ? HMV went under in UK due to sales going online VAT free....fact.

http://www.eraltd.org/news/era-news/era-statement-on-hmv.aspx

Dave Jones

Phil

The latest unemployment figures for Guernsey which I received yesterday from the Social Security department are reproduced below. To my recollection there were 70 people including part time employees who lost their jobs when HMV lost LVCR. And about 120 overall because of the loss of LVCR, of course some of these will be second jobs done by people, so they would not have all become “unemployed” I think that answers your question.

There were 409 people unemployed at the end of December, an increase of just 1 on the November figure. This represents 1.3% of the working population.

At the end of December last year, the number was 367.

A further 154 people were registered as unemployed but had some earnings during the week. This included people in part-time or casual employment as well as some people fully employed but eligible for supplementary benefit on top of their low earnings. There were a further 29 people on training schemes.

Your other comparisons you make are totally irrelevant to Guernsey, which to me is the only jurisdiction that matters. I have no idea what the unemployment figure might be by the end of 2014, my information on the state of the Guernsey economy comes from regular meetings around the Policy Council table where the Treasury Minister and other Ministers give us regular updates on what is going on, that feed back comes from talking to business leaders and others, together monitoring all the other performance indicators such as Social Security and Housing figures on the demand for short term licences and at present that is the evidence that I base to “back up” my comments on, not the doom and gloom finger in the air predictions made by some on here.

islander

Dave

Are single parent mothers recieving housing and supplimantry benefits included in the unemployment figures?

Phil

Thanks Dave, so let's do away with the waffle and cut to the chase. You say that 120 lost their jobs due to LVCR, are you seriously suggesting that the change in the rules directly led to 120,000 people in the UK becoming unemployed? That would plainly be nonsense, so that would be bet number 1 in the bag for me.

Interesting to hear you have "no idea" what the umemployed figure might be by the end of 2014, obviously all the time you spend "around the Policy Council table" discussing "what is going on" doesn't actually priduce much in terms of predicting the future of our economy. So do you fancy taking my bet on then, it's still there if you want it?

If you can find many "business leaders" who share your rosy view of Guernsey's short and medium term future I'd love to know who they are. Higher unemployment, a fall in property prices, a real terms increase in taxes and reduction in living standards, those are the realities Dave, and you and Kevin Stewart spouting nonsense to the contrary only leads the public further down the road of not believing a word of this falsely optimistic claptrap that politicians seem intent on spewing forth.

Here's another question for you; when was the last time a government's forecast for economic growth was revised UPWARDS? Despite the saying "never underestimate the stupidity of the general public" there are many of us who prefer to live in the real world rather than the fantasy land that our leaders would have us believe. Remember when the former Treasury and Chief minister assured us that we could "grow our economy" to compensate for the loss of revenue due to 0/10?

It is YOU who have your finger in the air (makes a change from up your "nose") my arguments are based on evidence, not pie in the sky predictions dreamt up by people who are of limited economic intelligence.

Just saying

How many are signed off as long term "sick"?

How many jobs are currently available?

Charlie G

It's human nature to try to find ways around a

problem and seek a solution,especialy when it

relates to things like VAT.Mr Bee is quite right about the Belgium to UK route, and France is even nearer to use.I for one remember the day that VAT was introduced,and i'll say now what i said then,that VAT was just another easy dream't up scheme put into action,like it was in many other countries,to

squeeze more funds out of the common man and

businesses.VAT or TVA or MVR,which ever country you want,its like bying a new vehicle

and being asked to pay extra for the wheels,simple as that,a con.

Dave Jones

Phil

I told you that your comparisons are absolutely meaningless and actually what I said was that HMV closing down in the UK has led to a reported 4.000 job losses.

On the issue of future unemployment figures, I am not going to get into the prediction game, as I said I base my comments on the information given regularly by those I have mentioned and you can put whatever interpretation you like on that.

I have also never used the expression “rosy view” of the future, that again is your interpretation, what I have said is that I am confident that Guernsey will come through this difficult period and I have remarked several times that we have done remarkably well so far given the condition of the worlds economy.

Because we don’t agree with your predictions on the economy does not make us wrong, it is just your opinion nothing else. The former T&R minister made his remarks on growth before the Eurozone crisis started and incidentally almost every western country has had to revise their growth forecasts down including the USA, so he has been in very good company.

Your comment on living in the “real world “ is something I do everyday, I deal with people on every level of Guernsey society, many who are suffering over this prolonged period of austerity.

I have dealt recently with several cases of people needing help, from housing problems, lack of income, child care issues and its costs, respite care and legal issues concerning children and property, so please don’t presume to lecture me on living in the real world, I am there every day.

Finally on you last paragraph; personal insults are a sure sign of someone struggling to make their case.

Phil

You can interpret comments as personal insults if you like, personally I'd just say it was the truth.

Why are my comparisons meaningless? You were the one who said that the UK had been hit harder than Guernsey by the removal of LVCR, now that I have proved you wrong you say "my" comparisons are meaningless, quite unbelievable!!

You do not live in the "real world" when it comes to Guernsey's short to medium term economic future Dave, which is of course what I was referring to, rather than your day to day dealings with some of the less fortunate in our society.

I stand by all of my predicitons re unemployment, property prices etc, and I'm very surprised that someone as economically astute as yourself (particularly with more information to hand than little old me) is not willing to wager a few quid for charity on the 2014 jobless figures.

I look forward to hearing the names of the "business leaders" that share you and Kevin Stewart's views, good luck in finding them, in my world they are virtually non-existent.

I wonder if Gavin St Pier and Peter Harwood are similarly optimistic, it's interesting to see that the two people on the policy council with the most financial nous have remained pretty quiet on our economic future, which speaks volumes.

Dave Jones

Phil

Your last paragraph on your previous post was a personal insult, read it again.

Your comparisons are meaningless because calculating the equivalent job losses in Guernsey by multiplying them by a thousand is worthless, simply because that mathematical calculation has no bearing on the island.

Also the UK has been hit harder by job losses, the loss of LVCR I have no doubt contributed to the downward spiral in HMV business. It clearly was not the single reason HMV got into trouble but it certainly hasn’t helped, as a result a lot of people in the UK are going to be unemployed if the reports are to be believed.

While here in Guernsey the numbers are relatively small by comparison and they are the only figures that matter to us and this economy.

As for you wager, I already support several charities, so I will decline your challenge.

On your last point, neither the Chief Minister or the Treasury Minister are not in panic mode as you appear to be, which is probably why they are not saying very much and considering you rate their “financial nous” enough to mention it, then you should be reassured by that fact.

States members will continue to do everything they can to keep the economy on track and while unemployment for anybody is not good, there are people looking at what can be done to create more jobs and to help see us through this difficult period.

Dave Jones

Islander

The unemployment figures are compiled from those available for work. They may include some people who receive some level of benefit

Adam

He was a small time retailer in the niche of specialist music retailing.

He claimed to go out of business in 2005 when everyone undercut him, so he says.

Perhaps it's easier money in campaigning.

Dee Sharisse

"... subsidise it through tax revenue."

So, in one breath he criticizes avoidance of taxes, in the next he advocates giving tax money to businesses. Naturally the former is UK tax, the latter Guernsey tax.

Until governments move away from this statist attitude, and allow businesses to compete with more emphasis on freedom and encouragement for the private sector, economies will never see the growth required to end this seemingly endless stagnation.

B Le Maitre

Obviously protectionism - but Guernsey does it in its own way. This pressure group are looking to protect UK business and Guernsey protects its own interests (housing, as an example). Potatoes, pot atoes, as they say.

Guernsey needs dynamic leadership at a time like this to make some serious decisons. LVCR, bank redundancies.....

Rustylink

I do hate illogical arguments presented by interested parties. Even worse are arguments presented by individuals with no undertanding of the real world.

soph

In the real world tax avoidance is legal but these days frowned upon

Would be nice to see genuine local companies get back the right to do so with UK intervention done away with

SOG allowed these companies to come here selling with total disregard.

Any idea how much tax was paid to us here by them?

Truth

The key phrase here is "when they want to support a sector" The point Mr Allen is making is that IF Guernsey wants to support a trade that is otherwise reliant on a tax scam then they should subsidise it...otherwise LET IT DIE. He's not saying Governments should support retail with subsidies. Of course that's ludicrous. His point is that UK retailers should not have to suffer so that Guernsey ones can profit.

Truth

Its not unusual for Govt to support agricultural retail......

Debbie Calderwood

Perhaps the most sensible thing to do is to have a referendum in Guernsey, whether to go independent or remain "British", that would be interesting.

Guernsey Girl

UK Boy

The point of the article is to say that if the Guernsey Government want to support LCVR as a credible business then they should support it through Tax relief and not rely on the UK Goverment to support it

SaintsBay

Dep Jones

How may persons currently unemployed but not signed on?

I would expect that the HSBC, Clydesdale and Flybe numbers will also increase the total number.

Dave - its the trend thats important also the conspicuous lack of new jobs being created.

Dave Jones

Saints bay

I suspect there are a number of people between jobs who have not signed on and do not show up in the unemployment figures. You ask how many? Well if they are not signed on,clearly it is difficult to give a number.

I will not deny that we have had a run of companies shedding staff, which has not been helped by the loss of LVCR. It has always been the same over the years, companies come and go and in the boom years the economy grows and in recession it shrinks.

In the last recession in the mid 80’s I left the island for 3 years dragging my wife and kids all over the UK, from job to job wherever I could find work. I drove diggers and cranes all over the country, even a ready mix concrete lorry for a while, until the North Beach project started and we came home.

Companies like Tectronics left the island shedding 1200 staff in one hit I think it was and they were eventually replaced by Specsavers coming and creating hundreds of new jobs and so it goes on.

What I am trying to get across is that we are doing reasonably well at present despite a global economy that has gone into free fall, yes we have over 400 people unemployed but we also have thousands in employment and we have much to be thankful for.

Guernsey has created its own jobs in the past and will do so again, hundreds of our people are and have been self employed for generations.

We still have a very low tax base with which to attract investment and jobs which is something the high tax cartel of the UK and the rest of Europe cannot offer.

We have no external debt to service, which helps keep our taxes and charges as reasonable levels, that too is a great selling point when we are marketing Guernsey as a good place to do business.

So I am optimistic, which appears to upset some on this blog and it is my job as an elected member of the States to protect our core business and at the same time to help force government spending down and by doing so avoiding the tax burden going up for our people. I don't subscribe to the idea that all is lost and the hand wringing brigade have the only opinion that counts.

I repeat, we will come through this period and we might very well be leaner and fitter at the end of it but I have faith in Guernsey and its ability to adapt to changing times and pressures.

James

Fact of the matters that Guernsey Government could have prevented the loss of LVCR by not encouraging HMV to come to Guernsey by letting the old Post Office building to them, thus putting us in the spotlight, they then followed this up by not passing any legislation to allow them to control the growth of this business, unlike Jersey with their Regulation of Undertakings Law.

They saw it as an easy growth opportunity, without regard to the consequences, as a result of which, genuine local businesses which had been using the LVCR concession became tarred with the same brush as HMV, and Tesco, who only moved to Guernsey when Jersey asked them to leave.

Short term thinking versus long term strategic planning.....sound familiar?

Phil

Dave

You take the biscuit, you really do. IT WAS YOU who initially compared us to the UK, saying how well we are doing compared to them, then when your argument is proved wrong you dismiss the very same comparison as meaningless. Classic politician's BS, no surprise there.

As for me being in panic mode, far from it. I'm in reality mode Dave, as I suspect are Gavin and Peter, which is why they aren't shooting their mouths off like you and Kevin are, setting yourselves up for a big fall. You've already admitted you don't have any clue of what unemployment will be in two years' time, throw in inflation, house prices, taxation etc and it's clear for all to see exactly how informed you are of Guernsey's economic future.

Glad to hear that you already do a lot for charity, and that you obviously don't like to talk about it. At least you've made one good call today, by turning my bets down you saved yourself a few shekels.

Dave Jones

Phil

You are absolutely right, I did compare Guernsey with the UK, saying that we are in a much better position than they given the global downturn that is a fact and I have not gone back on that at all.

For the second time or it might be the third, I said your mathematical comparisons are meaningless, do try and keep up.

As for your other comments, go to the business section of yesterdays press and it would seem I am in good company in believing that Guernsey has reasons to be confident of growth in the economy in the future, or perhaps the people commenting there don’t know what they are talking about either.

Phil

Ah, I see, so your comparisons are meaningful, whereas mine (being a simple mathematical calculation based on population size) are not? I think I'm keeping up, although it's not easy when trying to decipher such absolute rubbish.

Turning to your smug comments re being in good company re economic growth, we shall see Dave, we shall see. My predictions are made from my own feeling about how things are going over here (and further afield) and are entirely my opinion, nothing more. I am still confident that my forecast will be more accurate than yours (very confident in fact) and should you change your mind re the wager on unemployment I will more than happily accept.

Dave Jones

Phil

By the way the latest inflation bullitin is out and it shows little movement again in inflation which is hovering around 3%

simples

I doubt we will have such a high number of unemployed in 2014 Phil, we're not Jersey to have over 1000 unemployed.

I would say the worst case would be 500 but realistically it will probably stay at the current level give or take a few.

However we may get like Alderney, who's population is reducing because the work is not there so people move to other places, though actually a reduction in population here could only be a good thing!

Phil

Simples

And how many people are currently unemployed over here do you think? Don't forget to factor in those recently made redundant who haven't yet signed on, plus those recently announced, I suspect your worst case figure of 500 has already been exceeded.

I will quite happily offer you the same wager as Dave Jones, if you think that there will be no net increase in the next two years I think you're being very, very, optimistic. A net increase of 500 over 2013 and 2014 is roughly 20 per month, not a huge amount is it, particularly bearing in mind what we have already seen this month.

By the way, Jersey's figure is nearly two thousand, not one.

veridique

Why the surprise that HM Revenue and Customs are taking legal advice regarding claims that C.I. retailers are shipping to the UK via a third country to benefit from LVCR. The Channel Islands so called attempt to challenge the UK with regards to this industry was so pathetic that they now see us as an easy target to squeeze even more money out of. We have only our State's to blame for this. We had the chance to develope this industry as an alternative to the finance industry. Local businesses should have been encouraged to expand but no the States allowed the big companies from the UK to set up here to take advantage of OUR unique position with regards to LVCR. I cannot fathom whether this decision was due to naivety, stupidity or just complete lack of forethought as to the very obvious consequences, did they really think the UK would just allow this to go on. More worryingly do you really think that the UK is going to allow us to continue to operate as a Tax Haven, the very reason the finance industry is here and now starting to jump ship. The States offered up LVCR as the sacrificial lamb so as not to rattle the UK's cage with regards to the revenue it looses with regards to our tax haven status. Well this submissive stance has only served to show them how feeble we are in the defence of our industries. With the economic climate being as it is they cannot delay the inevitable, did they really think that by giving up our right to LVCR that the UK would just ignore us as a Tax haven.

Island Wide Voting

veridique

So those in high places on both sides of the Channel who say that our Finance industry actually boosts the London markets are wrong then ?

markB

You’ll have Dave Jones and GM tell you off if you call Guernsey a Tax Haven

We are a “ Low tax jurisdiction”

Veridique

MarkB - Thanks for that MarkB I had a temporary mind lapse then!!! Must not offend those with sensitive hearing or a tendancy to stick their heads in the sand. So we are Tax Haven masquerading as a Low Tax Jurisdiction, oh dear there I go again, I forget myself!!!

radical

The point is that this was a short term loophole. We as an island need to give more thought as to the costs v benefits these loopholes bring. I would suggest the majority of people who benefitted from this industry were imported labour (and some locals who rode the gravy train). Nothing wrong with that but there is a cost to our reputation as an Island. Was it really worth it? Should the states have closed it themselves and got good pr? Takes strong government to take hard decisions.

Lots of areas we can concentrate on instead, target those and assess benefits before allowing dodgy tax loopholes to operate.

SaintsBay

Sorry Dave

Tektronix never exceeded 750 persons and that was in the mid-70s.

Tek did through recession retain staff by putting them on short term - nowadays they would be out the door.

Tek also built for stock holding very high value finished goods in inventory - unthinkable nowadays what with Just-in-Time manufacturing. Manufacturing philosophy currently would not place a plant on an island affected by travel delays.

Tektronix coming to the island in 1957 was a fluke.

I worked at Tektronix from 1973 to 1985 - from 1979 to 1985 in the finance department as Inventory Accountant.

Tektronix NEVER employed 1200 persons at any single point.

Again - I am sorry but the true figure for unemployed must be around 600 and climbing.

If the finance sector was halfed (quite feasible) then you will have a staggering (further)3000 unemployed plus peripheral umemployed as plumbers, electricians, dentists, mechanics etc even estate agents (always a silver lining) fall by the wayside.

We could always apply to drive buses - but why would they be needed ?

Whats the plan Dave?

I Like you and admire your pluck but there is a tipping point whereby worthy optimism becomes naive delusion.

We are all standing on the burning deck Dave...

Dave Jones

SaintsBay

The 1200 figure was given to me by someone who worked for the company, who estimated the number of employees. So if that figure is wrong then I stand corrected.

Whichever figure it is, the point remains that a large number of jobs were lost when Tek left and a large number of jobs were created when another company set up.

My confidence comes from Guernsey’s ability to adapt and I refuse to become totally despondent because we have a downturn in the economy.

The plan is for the States to pursue every opportunity it can to create employment and encourage companies to set up in Guernsey taking advantage of our low tax base.

Part of that plan is also to protect the business we already have and make sure we as a government do not put barriers in the way of those wishing to create commerce and future employment.

Better training for our youngsters and using Guernsey’s natural beauty to attract people to it. As I have said before we have assets here that many other places don’t have and we need to exploit them to the islands advantage.

We have been through these times before and I can remember when we had nearly 2,000 unemployed but the island recovered and it will do so again. That is my view, you have a different opinion, only history will prove which one is correct.

Just saying

When did the Island have nearly 2,000 unemployed? Where/how did they find jobs?

Dave Jones

Just saying

Back in the last major recession in the 80,s i will try and find iout the exact figuer but it was certainly near that point.

SaintsBay

Dave

Thanks for the reply.

As I said - I admire your willingness to support the island and I respect what you have achieved with your department.

However - as one cyle ends or one door closes there is no divine guarantee that another starts or opens.

When Shetland's boom ended there was nothing to follow it up.

Guernsey had it good for years - quarries, fishing, tourism, growing, LVCR, light industry, Finance Sector.

All gone or going.

The world has changed for ever - if our goverment does not plan for the coming tidal wave of unemployment which I can see getting up to 3000 then it is not being realistic.

How many redundancies this week from across the sectors - it is a trend that is accelerating.

The Finance Sector is shedding heads at an incredible rate - the outflow of work to SA, India, Dublin, Malaysia is becoming a flood.

You are a bright guy - you know how dependant tradesmen, retail, dentists etc are on disposable income generated by the Finance Sector.

Look in the Press at the boats, cars, gym equipment etc being sold off.

With the FTP faltering, GST on the horizon, Civil Servant pension deficits and likley PSW unrest the current and near future does not compare with anything since the mid to late 40s.

THIS IS NOT ONLY MY OPINION - OTHERS BRIGHTER AND MORE CONNECTED THAN ME AGREE.

Dave Jones

SaintsBay

I thank you for you support. I am acutely aware that the world is changing and being a member of the External Relations Group I know that we are under constant attack by those who would like to close down ALL low tax jurisdictions regardless of the type of business they do.

Most of the jobs in finance have been lost because banks are restructuring to cope with the very challenging times they face. But it is not all one way traffic, my daughter who works in finance, has seen her company recently build a huge extension on to their building to cope with the growth in business over the last few years.

I directed another person on the blog this week to comments in the press business section, where business leaders were confident about Guernsey’s ability to find new markets and grow business in the future.

My department is still seeing requests for licences for the finance sector, although firms don’t tend to take on as many people in times of recession but nonetheless applications are still coming in.

As for the trades, I do worry about them, both my son and son in law have plumbing businesses employing several men between them and they need significant amounts of work to keep the two firms busy so I am closer to the coal face than you might imagine.

I also don’t accept that the FTP is faltering and my speech in the States next week will urge members not to take the easy way out and raise taxes but to do what most of them promised last May when they were elected and that was to cut out the waste in government and deliver services to our people that are free from some of the gold plated bureaucracy that was built up when we had huge surpluses’ every year.

I will, along with many others resist any attempts to introduce a GST into Guernsey, we can make these savings and we must.

Phil

Saints Bay

No no no, you've got it all wrong. Ignore recent job losses, the outsourcing of work to far flung destinations, the knock on effect of finance workers putting less money into the local enonomy, the threats from outside sources, the general state of the world economy (particularly the western world) etc etc, we in Guernsey will be absolutely fine. I know that because those well known economists Dave Jones and Kevin Stewart said so, how could they possibly be mistaken?

PB FALLA

STICK TO THE FACTS

Its another guernsey shambles

boocurr

@ Dave Jones

January 22, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Dave are you mad how can you say ,

"We will move on to find other ways of making our living and having a low tax base will always encourage people to do bussiness in Guernsey."

we may do but it is a very expensive island to recruit staff as lets be realistic you will have to rely on overseas workers ( ie latvian/polish etc) and if thta is the case you will also rely on our ( hopeless government - housign dept ) daft rules to give them 9 month license and tell them to go home for 3 months

Guernsey is in for one hell of a tough time and some of the fat talentless idiots driving around in there 007 Aston Martins ..well their day will come

Dave Jones

It's always good to see that there are people with so much faith in us

It just makes the job of being a Deputy so much more worthwhile.

scarlett

Damme la, I'm not with Dave J on all his comments but c'mon, give the man a break, I mean, disagreeing with him is one thing, putting him in the same category as Kev, patron saint of losing before he starts, (if he ever starts, which is questionable...), is an insult too far...

Even by my standards......! ;)

I believe Guernsey will find a way through regardless of how much legislation the Uk throws at us. Though I don't know how, our track record proves that we have survived such things-and worse-when the chips are down time and time again. That's just how we roll, that's so why I'm so damned glad I live here.

Dave has a positive attitude about the current less than ideal state of affairs, sure he does, but bearing in mind his job, he rather has to, doesn't he?

What's the other option, have politicians who turn things into a scene out of Dads Army, shouting, 'nobody panic!' And doomed, we're all doomed'.....?

Dave Jones

Scarlett

Thank you,

I have to be positive and when you consider this recession is in its 4th year we have done remarkably well considering.

My job as a member of the policy council is to make sure that everything that can be done to help Guernsey through this period is being done and while I fully accept that there has been shrinkage in our economy and a number of job losses, I remain confident that our core business is in reasonable shape.

I don’t have a crystal ball to predict exactly what is going to happen over the next 2-3 years, I wish I did but I do have some performance indicators to measure our present economic situation and I can say with some confidence that we are doing much better than most of Europe.

We must continue to find jobs for those unemployed and put money into training programs in order that people can have the best opportunity of learning new skills. We must also pump money into the economy through construction and investment in our infrastructure which will also help with the job market.

I am acutely aware of the huge responsibility that is ours as elected States members, the lives and well being of all islanders rest on the decisions we make and those decisions must be measured and based on fact. I take that role very seriously.

Going into panic mode during these difficult times is the last thing that our people need from their elected States and they expect us to steer this ship to calmer waters without holing it below the water line.

Phil

Dave

Just a quick point about "this recession being in its 4th year". The UK recession has not been continuous since it began in 2008, and indeed at the current time there is no official recession, although this could change at the end of Q1 this year.

Grippios

Phil, It seems to me no matter what Dave says you'll disagree, If you have a personal problem with him keep it off the message boards & let people have a difference of opinion (even deputies) without picking on every little error, most of us get the gist of what Dave is trying to say.

Don,t lets hang someone for trying to be positive

Island Wide Voting

Grippios

Agreed.This is drifting into PBFalla country

Dave Jones

Phil

I think most people recognise that the economic crisis that has effected most of the western world is in its 4th year.

And while the UK may not officially be in recession it is certainly not in the throws of a booming economic cycle either.

Most of the commentators are using the phrase triple dip recession to describe where the UK is at present and it is difficult not to agree with that analysis.

We have to keep a positive outlook in the island and trade on our advantages and while we are by no means immune to what is happening globally, we are at least in better shape with no debt to weather the storm.

The UK and the rest of Europe, with the exception of Germany is crippled by debts on a scale that is hard to imagine which will take decades to clear and high taxes for their people for generations to come.

We are most certainly much better off than most.

Phil

Dave

I think most people would consider that the problems began in earnest in 2008, meaning that we are now in the 6th year, not the 4th.

Grippios / IWV

Sorry for pointing out another error, very pedantic of me, after all what's a couple of years of economic turmoil between friends?

Phil

Grippios

Pointing out "facts" that have been wrongly stated is nothing to do with disagreement, it's simply correcting what has been previously said.

I have no problem at all with anyone being positive, but when that positivity extends into naive optimism with an apparent reluctance to accept reality I fail to see what benefits it has.

A.J.

I agree with all the 'positive' comments on this forum,including those of D.J.

If we can learn to bend, then at least we won't ever 'break'.

Dave Jones

Phil

I think the banking crisis did start earlier but it did not start to have any real material effect on Guernsey in those early years In my view.

The important thing is where we go from here? As I have said several times I will do everything I can to help keep the island prosperous and our bussiness community interested in remaining here. The island has nothing

without the wealth they create and if we loose sight of that then we really will be in trouble. So let's try and stay positive and we can come through this.

In Control

Dave Jones

Just a quick question you keep mentioning how much support there is for starting small business in Guernsey, I looked recently at starting something in my spare time as I really cannot afford to give up work and make a living out of said venture, TBH it was tiresome and exhausting to try and eek any information out the states bodies that control business over here, plus the huge start up costs for small business which in some cases might exceed the potential profits due to low volume sales initially, properties are scarse and overpriced on the rent front which is why shops lay empty in town and the bridge, what we need instead of housing (which is honourable but lets be fair just a money maker for all those involved in that industry)is cheap affordable shop fronts which can help people to set up and grow, Gabriels is a classic example instead of luxury appartments why were they not converted into multi floor retail units, if you are serious about business start up in Guernsey then you need to start helping the little guys out " all the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday"

Island Wide Voting

In Control

Perhaps the Gabriel street developers decided not to convert to multi store retail units because they are aware that those brand new little shops at the top end of the Bordage have been left empty for over ten years,although possibly the lack of parking and footfall at that end of Town is more of a problem than high rents

I also believe that there is (or was) an active policy to encourage residential use of the units above shops in order to keep the Town alive at night

I have seen in America very popular out of town mini-malls,15 - 20 very basic two roomed units with a shop front and a storage area behind.The key to their success I believe was in no small measure due to the fact that they are usually built alongside, or surrounding in a U-shape,a 100+ free car park

There are derelict vinery sites large enough to be converted to such use,once the Fred in the shed groups have been fended off.It would probably require States funding / ownership to keep rental costs down in an effort to encourage the start-ups you mention

A downside would of course be that such a mini-mall would be yet another nail in the Town coffin

Dave Jones

In Control

It is not easy and the States web site is not terribly useful in giving information on start ups and is something C&E ought to improve. I have a meeting scheduled with Dep Stuart to discuss employment issues of which the self employed will figure highly in those discussions, I will add to that agenda the points you raise.

The cost of renting property is ridiculous, which is why I am looking for support under the new residents permit law to prevent people who do not live on the island or have strong connections with Guernsey from owning commercial property here.

I feel many absentee landlords just sit on this property as an investment and are wealthy enough not to worry whether it is rented or not. We should also levy some punitive rates on empty properties in order to encourage landlords to find tenants which might help bring down rents.

My advice is don’t give up, there are not many things in life that are easy but the rewards for being self employed can be very gratifying, although hard work. If you want to give me a call I will see what I can do in terms of getting the kind of help you are looking for.

Phil

Dave

We agree on something, hurrah!!

Although I'm not convinced that town landlords will be seeing much in the way of capital appreciation in the foreseeable future, I agree that there ought to be the option in place of charging increased rates (for example) on unlet properties that the landlord does not make a proper effort to rent out.

St Peter Port in 5 years time will be in a worse state than it is now unless something is done about all these empty properties, unfortunately Jack Honeybill's naive optimism has turned out to be entirely misplaced, which was perfectly obvious to anyone who lives in the real world.

bcb

This could be the start of something special lads ;)

In Control

Island wide voting.

good points and lets be fair people are lazy enough that to park on the albert to walk upto the Bordage is a walk to far these days, I guess similar to the lazy gits who drive down to fermain to swill wine and dine on fine foods lol "joke" kind of, anyway digressing a little, I like your idea and tbh is something similar to what I would envisage helping lots of small business start up, could even look at shop share where one could open daytime the other in the early evening?

Dave Jones

thankyou for your honesty and for taking suggestions forward, I havent given up yet but i'm not getting any younger ;)